Former military chief gets life sentence in Turkey
ISTANBUL (AP) — In a landmark trial, scores of people — including Turkey’s former military chief, politicians and journalists — were convicted today of plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government soon after it came to power in 2002. Retired Gen. Ilker Basbug was the most prominent defendant among some 250 people facing verdicts after a five-year trial that has become a central drama in tensions between the country’s secular elite and Erdogan’s Islamic-oriented Justice and Development Party.
In addition to Basbug, at least 18 other defendants were sentenced to life in prison, including 10 retired military officers and Dogu Perincek, leader of the left-wing and nationalist Workers Party. At least 64 other defendants received sentences ranging from a year to 47 years, according to state-run TRT television news.